Let's be reasonable with one another, shall we?

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Jacob I have loved; Esau I have hated

(More from Romans 9)10 And not only this, but when Rebecca also had conceived by one man, even by our father Isaac 11 (for the children not yet being born, nor having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of Him who calls), 12 it was said to her, “The older shall serve the younger.” 13 As it is written, “Jacob I have loved, but Esau I have hated.”
The reference in purple is this here below from Genesis:
23 And the LORD said to her:
Two nations are in your womb,
Two peoples shall be separated from your body;
One people shall be stronger than the other,
And the older shall serve the younger.” (Genesis 25)
And the reference in blue is here, from the opening chapter of Malachi:
1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. 2 “I have loved you,” says the LORD. “Yet you say, ‘In what way have You loved us?’ Was not Esau Jacob’s brother?” Says the LORD. “Yet Jacob I have loved; 3 But Esau I have hated, And laid waste his mountains and his heritage For the jackals of the wilderness.” 4 Even though Edom has said, “We have been impoverished, But we will return and build the desolate places,” Thus says the LORD of hosts: “They may build, but I will throw down; They shall be called the Territory of Wickedness, And the people against whom the LORD will have indignation forever (Malachi 1)
What is Genesis 25 saying? It is talking about two nations. The nation that comes from the elder shall serve the nation that comes from the younger. Romans 9 is telling us that this was not because of anything that either of the fathers of these nations did, because they haven't done anything yet! (They were still in the womb!) But God, in His sovereign choice, chose to make Himself known through Jacob and his seed, rag-tag group that they, in some ways, ended up being. God chose Israel, not Edom. Jacob was conniving sometimes, but God had foreordained to reveal Himself through Jacob in spite of his character flaws. It was not because Jacob was such a great man, it was because of God's choice. Period.

(This is one of the great things about the Bible - isn't it? It is so honest about its characters - they are not exalted and their flaws are not covered over, but God shows how he uses them anyway. My husband, the Earnest Contender, covered this in a post. The Bible is unprejudiced.)

Now the Malachi passage - what is that saying? It is saying that God loved the people of Israel. This is the last book we have in the OT. This was written at a time far removed from Jacob and Essau. God says he favored these people of Jacob and purposed in his heart to show them favor in the their world from the get-go. He chose them over Edom - they were to be a light to the Gentiles, but they were not serving very well. They were not discharging their responsibilities faithfully. Yet "I have loved you." He says. He favored them for His revelation. And - what do you know? About 400 years after Malachi, the Messiah came from Jacob, even though they had been unfaithful. He was still born from Jacob, these people described in chapter 1 of Malachi.

Up to this point in Romans chapter 9, this is all about the nation of Israel and it's past purpose in God's plan and the fact that He chose them for no reason in and of themselves. Some of them are faithful even though many of them are not. But God is faithful. God is sovereign and has a purpose in election that is bigger than a relationship with individuals. He has a global purpose that He is executing.

42 Comments:

  • Good morning, Rose. Have a great day!

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 9/03/2007 4:02 AM  

  • I agree.

    By Blogger Dyspraxic Fundamentalist, at 9/03/2007 4:04 AM  

  • Rose,

    how do you see this global execution of election related to Jesus Christ? In other words, it seems that you have separated election, from Jesus, i.e. presupposed by an election that is still focused on individuals---albeit a collective group or community of individuals versus the idea of Christ being the supreme/pre-imenent elected "anointed one of God" (see Col. 1:13ff).

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 9/03/2007 5:01 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Thank you for your posts on this. It is very helpful in understanding your view and so many others.

    It appears to me that Romans 9 is talking literally about two things:

    (1) The individuals Jacob and Esau.

    (2) Indirectly the nations -- but that is a minor point.

    For me the clincher is v.9: (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)


    It is literally speaking of the two individuals that are the twins. Yes, there are passages in the OT that refer to nation aspect of Jacob and Esau, but the literal sense of Romans 9 on Jacob and Esau is the example of election relating to the two individuals.

    This is the plain sense that struck me when I first read Romans 9 back when I was in High School, and I have great difficulty seeing it as primarily national. So I have great difficulty in taking this other approach as the primary meaning in this passage because it moves away from what I read as the literal sense.

    That's where I'm coming from. I appreciate how well you've been articulating your view.

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/03/2007 9:04 AM  

  • Rose,

    Your reasoning and logic are flawless. Very Good!

    By Blogger Antonio, at 9/03/2007 11:28 AM  

  • Hi Bobby,

    It seems that some read this passage and can only see this as talking about election in the sense of "this person is elect, this person isn't etc..."
    I am seeing it in these particular verses as speaking to the national election of Israel. Yes, they are the chosen people of God and their election's pinnacle is that the Elect ONE came from them.

    I do see Christ as the CHOSEN ONE, yes! The church is made up of those who are "in Him." We ride on the coattails of His election.

    But there are other purposes in the Messiah besides building his church. He is the Savior of the world; He is also the King of Israel. He will reveal His glory through the Kingdom and the New Covenant that He will initiate and establish with His chosen people (Israel), adminstering righteousness over the world. This is something He decided to do long ago with the nation of Israel and it is spoken of in the earliset books of the OT. He hasn't changed his mind about that purpose in the election of Israel.

    I suppose I should say that I am not sure what you are asking, Bobby. heehee I don't know if I have answered or not. Perhaps I just got off on a rant.

    What do you think of the approach in this post?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/03/2007 1:16 PM  

  • Earl,
    (chuckles)
    You have become a literalist now? Now can't we tell by reading this and taking the plain (heehee) sense of the passage, especially when we look at the passages referenced by Paul in Genesis and Malachi, that Paul is not talking about the twins individually, but about their progeniture? He opens the chapter discussing a nation and he hasn't shifted now to individuals.

    I do understand where you are coming from. Thanks for your participation, as always.

    'Earl is a literalist ....' (walks away chuckling)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/03/2007 1:27 PM  

  • Thanks brother Antonio!

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/03/2007 1:28 PM  

  • Matthew, I hope you are having a great day - or have had, whatever the case may be.
    It is nice when we agree. :~)

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/03/2007 1:28 PM  

  • Rose,

    there is no doubt that this context speaks of individuals (persons and nations), but when you said "global", this threw me off. It seems like you're emphasizing the nation of Israel's election over that of the Messiah's election. I don't see the purpose of history to elevate a nation, I see it as elevating a PERSON, Jesus Christ. This is why dispensationalism, in its classic form, at least, for me has become problematic.

    Are you saying that you see Israel elect as instrumental in mediating the Messiah to the world? Because if you are, I would agree with you on that.

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 9/03/2007 2:55 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    I too am chuckling. Usually the dispenationalist claims the literal interpretation, especially in escatology, claiming others do not follow a literal interpretation.

    Here's where I think the dispensationalist walks away from a literal approach. So I too chuckle over the humor of it.

    Thanks for your interesting and light hearted writing.

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/03/2007 4:03 PM  

  • Earl,
    It is fun to chuckle with you. ;~)

    But really, looking for the historical-grammatical meaning meaning does include recognising figures of speech and other literary devices and dispensationalists are quick to tell you that if you will but listen. :~)

    In this case, the contextual clues are not hard for even me to follow about what Paul is talking about.

    You are so reasonable, Earl, surely you can see how I arrive at my conclusion in this small section of Romans 9?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/03/2007 4:11 PM  

  • Bobby,
    You say:
    I don't see the purpose of history to elevate a nation, I see it as elevating a PERSON, Jesus Christ.

    I see it that way too, Bobby. If I indicated otherwise, that was not my intention.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/03/2007 4:13 PM  

  • Rose,

    you didn't, necessarily; but the system you're following has and does, methodologically . . . of course I'm sure the system I follow has some un-sightly warts as well ;).

    By Anonymous bobby grow, at 9/03/2007 4:42 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    You say, "You are so reasonable, Earl, surely you can see how I arrive at my conclusion in this small section of Romans 9?"

    You are kind about my resonablness, perhaps its unfounded. I really appreciate how you've outlined your position, and I clearly see how you get there. But I can't go there because that doesn't look to be the more reasonable approach to me.

    Again, thank you for your graciousness. You conversations are always helpful in understanding the viewpoint of so many people.

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/03/2007 11:16 PM  

  • Hi Earl,
    That is reasonable. I just wanted to know if you could see how I arrive at my thoughts - as I also see how you arrive at yours.

    Want some coffee and doughnuts?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/04/2007 7:37 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Virtual coffee and doughnut! Yum! The best kind! They're not fattening, and in my imagination, they taste the best. :o)

    Thanks for your gacious hospitality here.

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/04/2007 7:42 AM  

  • Rose--

    How are you?

    I personally think that getting caught up in discussions about election is beside the point here in Romans 9. I think many assume that Paul is talking about election (in Calvinism/Arminian categories) simply because that's how the debate between our contemporaries is often framed. However, I think this loses sight of Paul's argument through the complex of Romans 6-13.

    While I will grant that Paul is perhaps touching on subjects of "why God chose Israel" and not "others", I think these questions are completely tangential to his argument. As we've been discussing throughout the last several posts, Paul's discussion through these passages is about the propriety of God extending salvation to Gentiles over and against the claims of exclusivity of the Judaizers (Paul's antagonists throughout Romans). However, Paul goes even further (as I noted in the last comments thread) to show that not only does God incorporate Gentiles into the history of salvation, but moreover God does exactly the same thing with "the chosen ones!" In this way, neither Jew nor Gentile has a corner on reconciliation with God--rather, both are reconciled ONLY through faith in Christ, not physical sanctification, cultural identity, or participation within a particular cultus of religious worship.

    This point is actually supported in this passage you have discussed, for Paul argues that neither Jacob nor Esau were included because of "who" they were. Rather, Jacob's inclusion was on the basis of God's mercy alone. Therefore--and here is the culmination of Paul's argument--if God is just in extending reconciliation to Jacob, even though he had done nothing to deserve it--so too is God just in extending reconciliation to the Gentiles in spite of their undeservedness.

    Again, Paul's point in these arguments is to undermine the tactics of the Judaizers who wanted to form the Gentiles into proselytes BEFORE they could be incorporated into the salvation over which they believed themselves to have control. However, by conjuring the example of Jacob's unreservedness, Paul denounces such notions, arguing that the Gentiles are no different than the Jews who are accepted by God. Both are undeserving and both are incorporated into divine reconciliation by faith alone.

    By Blogger Exist~Dissolve, at 9/04/2007 1:05 PM  

  • "the fact that He chose them for no reason in and of themselves. Some of them are faithful even though many of them are not. But God is faithful."

    A beautiful revelation of the character of God (as compared to the character of man).

    By Blogger Joe, at 9/04/2007 7:14 PM  

  • Exist said "I personally think that getting caught up in discussions about election is beside the point here in Romans 9."

    I found that interesting and I don't understand this point of just glossing over the election. The fact is that the bible teaches election and we should focus on it when it does, but when it does not we shall not. Because there is a big debate between calvinists and arminians and others, that doesn't negate that the teaching is discussed in the bible.

    We must be interested in all of scripture in as much as their is emphasis on it.Romans 6 is just as important as Romans 9.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 9/04/2007 7:56 PM  

  • Hi Rose,

    What's up? My family is good. I have been out of blogging myself (a little with brian though) and been enjoying studying the bible with friends that I can see. I do find study of scripture to be easiest at lunch with friends one on one so that we can pray and encourage one another better in some ways.

    How is your kid?

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 9/04/2007 7:58 PM  

  • The fact is that the bible teaches election and we should focus on it when it does, but when it does not we shall not.

    Says who? Just because the word "election" may appear in the text does not, de facto, mean that "the bible teaches election." As I have shown in my previous content, the actual point of Paul's argument here is not to speak about "election" popularly conceived, but rather to serve as yet another piece of polemical ammunition in his deconstruction of the Judaizer's arguments in re: the nature of reconciliation with God.

    By Blogger Exist~Dissolve, at 9/04/2007 8:52 PM  

  • Election is a biblical term used throughout the bible. That would mean you must believe in election as a theological truth in some form if you believe the bible is without error and true in all of it's teaching.

    Your interpretation may be different than calvinists and arminians and others. I'm just stating that the biblical terminology for election is pretty clear throughout.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 9/04/2007 9:48 PM  

  • Election is a biblical term used throughout the bible. That would mean you must believe in election as a theological truth in some form if you believe the bible is without error and true in all of it's teaching.

    I would suggest that you have an ill-defined understanding of the nature and function of human language. Words (linguistic symbols) do not have inherent meaning; rather, they are deployed like vehicles to deliver meaning and content in the act of communication. However, the very fact that they are merely vehicles, and not meaning unto themselves, suggests an incredible fluidity in the nature and meaning-deployment of words, especially when one takes into consideration the variances that occur across time and cultural understandings. Therefore, to claim that the concept of "election"--simply by virtue of the word's phenomenology within Scripture--is a "theological truth" seems to beg many questions about your theological methodology and the ways in which you appropriate human language as it occurs in Scripture.

    Your interpretation may be different than calvinists and arminians and others. I'm just stating that the biblical terminology for election is pretty clear throughout.

    Yes, I would agree that the linguistic symbol "election" is found in many translations. However, to move from the mere presence of a word to the establishment and assertion of a complex theological idea seems to me to be somewhat misguided. I do not wish to cause offense, but it would seem that you are confusing the phenomenology of language (i.e., its appearance in forms of communication) and the meanings which are communicated by these words.

    By Blogger Exist~Dissolve, at 9/05/2007 12:03 AM  

  • Hey Rose!

    exist...I liked how you laid the 9/04/2007 1:05 PM comment out...and this from a Calvinist...but you ARE right, Paul's primary point was specific, the arguments derived from it in support of election proper are tangential, although I still believe true from this passage and others...

    Again, your post was well done...

    By Blogger Even So..., at 9/05/2007 9:10 AM  

  • Hi Rose,

    Interesting conversation going on here. Words are fluid, they have no inherent meaning. Let's substitute bar-b-que for election..., so:

    "though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of bar-b-que might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls..."

    bar-b-que seems to take priority over works, seems to depend on God's call. Oh wait, these too have no inherent meaning. Let's substitute bar-bells for works, and barbie-doll for call (okay, so I have a "bar" fettish). So, let's try this:

    "though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of bar-b-que might continue, not because of bar-bells but because of him who barbie-dolls..."

    Oh, we're going to have to get rid of "good" and "bad". Since words have no inherent meaning. We're just bring our conceptual baggage and putting it on scripture. Now, let's try this:

    "though they were not yet born and had done nothing either barf or barcelona—in order that God's purpose of bar-b-que might continue, not because of bar-bells but because of him who barbie-dolls..."

    I get it. I need to change a few more words. I'm being freed of all this baggage. Scripture is opening up with new meaning.

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/05/2007 12:19 PM  

  • Earl,
    You are funny! I really got a chuckle out of that.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/05/2007 12:39 PM  

  • Exist,
    I also appreciate your first comment.

    I think I understand what you are getting at about the words thing - let me know if this is right: You are saying that perhaps the perception that Shawn had about the word "election" is not what actually is meant by it?

    Tell me if that is what you meant to say.

    I do appreciate your very excellent thoughts on Paul and his battle with the Judaizers. I think it would be difficult to dispute what you have said there.

    I am doing great, by the way.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/05/2007 12:43 PM  

  • Joe,
    So wonderful to see your jolly face! I hope you and the lil lady are doing well. I will have to get on over to your blog and see if I can get any ideas about how you are. The character of God is truly full of Grace. amen
    _________________

    Hi Shawn,
    My "kid" is doing wonderfully, thank you. He is now 8 months old and is about to walk - he stands and balances for about 30 seconds, but hasn't taken his first step just yet. He is a joy to have around.
    Hey, I agree, it is better to fellowship with people when you can see their faces. I think some of the people that don't get on so well in the blog world would get along great if face to face. We would probably all get along great.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/05/2007 12:48 PM  

  • Even so,
    (come Lord Jesus)
    What do you have to say about the post and the specific Scripture it is about? Do you think this is individual, or national, or both?

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/05/2007 12:49 PM  

  • Interesting conversation going on here. Words are fluid, they have no inherent meaning. Let's substitute bar-b-que for election..., so:

    "though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of bar-b-que might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls..."

    bar-b-que seems to take priority over works, seems to depend on God's call. Oh wait, these too have no inherent meaning. Let's substitute bar-bells for works, and barbie-doll for call (okay, so I have a "bar" fettish). So, let's try this:

    "though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God's purpose of bar-b-que might continue, not because of bar-bells but because of him who barbie-dolls..."

    Oh, we're going to have to get rid of "good" and "bad". Since words have no inherent meaning. We're just bring our conceptual baggage and putting it on scripture. Now, let's try this:

    "though they were not yet born and had done nothing either barf or barcelona—in order that God's purpose of bar-b-que might continue, not because of bar-bells but because of him who barbie-dolls..."

    I get it. I need to change a few more words. I'm being freed of all this baggage. Scripture is opening up with new meaning.


    Yeah, apparently someone didn't get the point. Your attempt at ridicule here is misplaced, for while words are not in and of themselves imbued with meaning, I will maintain that they do function, nonetheless, as carriers of meaning.

    So then, your petty word substitution is quite juvenile and illustrates either your difficulty in actually addressing what I have written, or your unwillingness to take a self-critical stance towards your personally held understanding of the nature, form and function of human language.

    By Blogger Exist~Dissolve, at 9/05/2007 1:08 PM  

  • exist...I liked how you laid the 9/04/2007 1:05 PM comment out...and this from a Calvinist...but you ARE right, Paul's primary point was specific, the arguments derived from it in support of election proper are tangential, although I still believe true from this passage and others...

    Again, your post was well done...


    Thank you for the kind words.

    By Blogger Exist~Dissolve, at 9/05/2007 1:09 PM  

  • I think I understand what you are getting at about the words thing - let me know if this is right: You are saying that perhaps the perception that Shawn had about the word "election" is not what actually is meant by it?

    Tell me if that is what you meant to say.


    Yes, that is correct to an extent. We often assume that words mean something in all contexts because of our familiarity with the meanings that are commonly assigned to them in our own contexts. However, given the rapid pace at which language changes (e.g., "nice" was once a root for "foolish, ignorant"), I think it is a bit short-sighted to uncritically impose our common understandings of word meanings upon texts that are thousands of years old and several large cultural shifts away.

    Inevitably, however, this is unavoidable to a certain extent, for the very nature of interpretation requires the interpreter to make such impositions of language upon the text.

    I do appreciate your very excellent thoughts on Paul and his battle with the Judaizers. I think it would be difficult to dispute what you have said there.

    Thank you as well!

    I am doing great, by the way.

    Glad to hear that, as always!

    By Blogger Exist~Dissolve, at 9/05/2007 1:12 PM  

  • So then, your petty word substitution is quite juvenile...

    For a moment I thought that was a negative remark towards me, or an indication of being humorly impared. But as I looked at the structure, I got a different picture.

    Thanks!

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/05/2007 1:29 PM  

  • [I do appreciate your very excellent thoughts on Paul and his battle with the Judaizers. I think it would be difficult to dispute what you have said there.]

    ED,
    I second Rose's thoughts here. You have done a great job!

    [Rose said:
    What do you have to say about the post and the specific Scripture it is about? Do you think this is individual, or national, or both?]

    Rose,
    I would say that it is primarily about the twins, and secondarily about the nations. Paul is teaching that God showing mercy to some and not to others has nothing to do with their goodness or lack of it or with their family connections. I hope we can all agree on that.

    By Anonymous VA ~Susan, at 9/05/2007 3:59 PM  

  • Rose, thank you for the dialogue! I hope you are getting much from it.

    I agree that what you say is reasonable. For what it's worth, I have always considered this passage about God's mercy bestowed in physical means in the preservation of the nation of Israel for that global purpose.

    By Blogger Missy, at 9/05/2007 5:30 PM  

  • Exist,

    May the Lord Bless you, I have no idea what you are saying, but am trying very hard to understand. Sorry brother.

    Sorry about this misunderstanding. May God bless you in your walk.

    Rose,
    So true. When I read the Word with friends we tend to not get stuck on Cal/Arm/Disp/Covenant continually discussion that the blogs do. I just want to be a man who is a man of the Word and of prayer.

    I wish more of us would pray for our perseverance and trials and that you press on toward the goal. I pray that we walk with Integrity and Joy of the Lord regardless of circumstances.

    I pray for a deep abiding joy of what Christ has done for us.

    By Blogger Shawn L, at 9/05/2007 6:44 PM  

  • Ah Shawn,

    A brother after my own heart. I was lost too boo. Maybe I need to study harder next time for the exam. These brilliant minds exeed us and for us almost brilliant....well Im going to bed.Goodnight

    Hi Rose; Goodnight Rose

    By Anonymous bhedr, at 9/05/2007 10:40 PM  

  • exist~dissolve,

    I allowed myself to succumb to temptation, to needle you and I got exactly the response the wanted. It's how I'd needle my poor sister when we were kids (and even as adults) -- getting an outburst and trying to looking innocent.

    Please forgive me for this. As you can see, I disagree with your position, but I don't think I put it as benignly or kindly as I should have, or engaged you in a better way. It is not how I should have treated another human, let alone a fellow believer in Christ. The fault is entirely mine.

    By Blogger Earl, at 9/05/2007 11:10 PM  

  • This is such an awesome post! Well done Rose!

    By Blogger Jon Lee, at 9/06/2007 11:04 PM  

  • Jon,
    Thanks so much! I think this is the way it is. I am not persuaded that this is meant to be seen any other way. I am so convinced ... based upon the passages Paul quotes, that this is about national election.

    I am glad you appreciate this post.

    By Blogger Rose~, at 9/08/2007 9:07 AM  

  • Hi Rose,
    I don't expect to change your mind on this, but the Bible does teach both individual and national election. God's choice of individual men, like the choice of the nation of Israel, has nothing to do with any merit He sees in them, but only because it pleased Him to do so. (Ephesians 1:5; Romans 9:l0 ff).

    Jeremiah's election:
    Jeremiah 1:4 Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying,

    5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
    and before you were born I consecrated you;
    I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”


    Nation of Israel:
    Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine; 6 and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words that you shall speak to the people of Israel.”

    Paul chosen by God:
    Galatians 1:14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born, [4] and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to [5] me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone; [6] 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

    The NT Church as the elect:

    1 Peter 2:9
    But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.


    -------------------
    A Jonathan Edwards Quote on election:
    (5) This electing love of God is singly of every particular person. Some deny a particular election, and say that there is no other election than a general
    determination that all who believe and obey shall be saved. Some also own no more than an absolute election of nations. But God did from all eternity singly and distinctly choose and set His love upon every particular person who ever believes, as is evident by Galatians 2:20, "Who loved me and gave Himself for me." God set His love from eternity upon this and that person as particularly as if there were no other chosen than he. Therefore it is represented as though they were mentioned by name, that their names are written in the book of life. Luke 10:20: "Notwithstanding, in this rejoice not that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven." Revelation 13:8: "And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship Him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world."
    (6) In election, believers were from all eternity given to Jesus Christ. As believers were chosen from all eternity, so Christ was from eternity chosen and
    appointed to be their Redeemer, and He undertook the work of redeeming them. There was a covenant respecting it between the Father and Son. Christ, as we have already observed, loved them before the creation of the world. Then He had their names, as it were, written in a book; and therefore the book of life is called the Lamb's book. Revelation 21:27: "And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life." And He bears their names upon His heart, as the high priest of old did the names of the tribes of the children of Israel on his breastplate. Christ often calls the elect "those whom God had given Him." John 17:2: "As Thou hast given Him power over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as Thou hast given Him." Verse 9: "I pray for them. I pray not for the world, but for them which Thou hast given Me; for they are Thine." Verse 11: "And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world and I come to Thee. Holy Father, keep through Thine own name those whom Thou hast given Me, that they may be one, as we are one.”
    -------------------------

    Have a good Sunday, Rose!

    VA ~Susan

    By Anonymous VA ~Susan, at 9/15/2007 11:52 PM  

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